WILLS POINT, TX – Gospel for Asia (GFA) VP Danny Yohannan encouraged Christians to leverage Lent to pray for the coronavirus crisis, and those suffering from its impact, and to prepare our hearts to help those in need around the world. In a press release featured on Fox News, Yohannan said: “Our world today desperately needs God’s intervention and grace.”This has been true throughout all of recorded history, but never has it been so true as it is now in 2020 AD.Amidst a world in economic and political turmoil, a world where people are desperately seeking hope and peace, the head of the World Health Organization (WHO) has warned that “The world must prepare for a potential coronavirus pandemic.”
Since the outbreak was initially reported two months ago, more than 80,000 cases have been confirmed in 36 different countries. As of February 25, more than 2,600 people have died after contracting the virus. The WHO says the risk of the disease spreading is high worldwide.
More than 900 new cases were reported in the most recent 24 hour reporting period, along with 71 more deaths. Four more WHO Member States – Afghanistan, Bahrain, Iraq, and Oman – reported their first cases during the same time frame.
The spread of the virus has already begun to adversely impact stock markets, travel and tourism, supply chains, and trust in governments. Businesses, churches, and sporting events have closed or canceled services and events. The International Olympic Committee is already considering canceling or delaying the July Tokyo Olympics.
Each of these issues can impact individual people’s ability to obtain food and essential services, while the disease itself threatens their very lives.
Those most in danger are those with other ailments (especially malnutrition) and those who live in places where healthcare systems are weak. This includes those systems that lack adequate and/or accessible healthcare facilities. Entire continents and subcontinents could be faced with epidemics of biblical proportions.
Poverty-stricken families face the likeliness that they cannot afford disinfectants, soap, and bleach needed to protect them against the coronavirus. On February 25, the anti-poverty NGO, The Society for Community Organization, released a report that only a third of low-income families in Hong Kong could afford these necessities. Worldwide, there is already a shortage of face masks needed to aid prevention.
Imagine the potential danger for the billions of poor people across the 10/40 window, especially those in Africa and the Indian sub-continent where Gospel for Asia works among the poorest of the poor.
Devex expects NGOs to “play a key role in trying to prevent the spread” of the coronavirus. NGOs may be taxed to their limits to help with patient care, community sensitization, hygiene training, and contact tracing.
In response to the WHO pandemic warning, NGOs have been convening individually and collaboratively to assess their abilities to respond in the case of an outbreak. Right now, NGOs are visiting impoverish communities to educate them about the virus and how to avoid contracting it.
Missions Box News encourages Christians to pray for God’s intervention and grace. Where possible, we encourage believers to generously support FBOs and NGOs as they prepare for potential outbreaks in their regions of ministry.
The mission of NGOs and FBOs are humanitarian by nature. They are not recognized enough for their contributions. They will go where others will not go and will do what others will not do. They will do whatever it takes to save and enrich the lives of the people whom they serve.
NOTE: During the time this article was being written, Brazil confirmed its first case of coronavirus, also the first in Latin America.
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- Kaiser Family Foundation, Devex Examines Potential Role For NGOs If Coronavirus Outbreak Hits Africa
- Partnership for Quality Medical Donations, NGOs Prepare for Possible Coronavirus Outbreak in Africa
- World Health Organization, Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) Situation Report – 36
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, COVID-19 Situation Summary
- Reuters, Mainland China reports 406 new cases of coronavirus on February 25, deaths up by 52
- BBC News, World battles coronavirus outbreak – BBC News
- Hong Kong Free Press, Coronavirus: Basic protective gear ‘unaffordable’ for 70% of Hong Kong’s low-income families – survey
- Forbes, Japan Rejects Possible Tokyo Olympics Cancellation Amid Coronavirus Threat
- Centers for Disease Control Public Health Image Library #23313